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Rivermen rip ex-captain, now ref, after 6-5 SO loss

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Rivermen rip ex-captain, now ref, after 6-5 SO loss: ‘It was worst officiated game I’ve ever seen’

By Dave Eminian - Journal Star


Someone send referee Cole Ruwe a pen, Peoria Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel an aspirin and the schedule-maker a thank you card for not making Peoria visit Birmingham anymore this season.

The second-place Peoria Rivermen lost for a third straight time to the expansion Birmingham Bulls on Saturday.

Wrap your head around that. It was a bizarre game in which the Rivermen went into a pair of melees 16 seconds apart with a two-goal lead late in the third period, and exited with a tie game after an array of ejections and Birmingham power plays took their toll.

The Rivermen went on to lose 6-5 to the Bulls in a shootout tiebreaker — former Peoria center Jacob Barber completing a hat trick with the shootout winner — on Saturday before 2,494 at Pelham Civic Complex in Birmingham, Ala.

Read more at: http://www.pjstar.com/sports/20180210/rivermen-rip-ex-captain-now-ref-after-6-5-so-loss-it-was-worst-officiated-game-ive-ever-seen

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“It was the worst officiated game I’ve ever seen in my career as a player or coach,” said Trudel, who was on tilt during a phone interview after the game. “It was a disgrace. We’re in a two-on-two fight and come out of that killing penalties? We have a guy getting pounded by three guys in the corner and it comes out everyone even strength? In overtime, we’re gonna score and they knock their net off the moorings on purpose, and there’s no penalty? Then we have a breakaway and their goalie punches our guy four times, and there’s no penalty?

“I’d like the league to explain those decisions. Because it sure looked like Cole Ruwe was so determined to show the league he could work a game his former team was involved in and be fair, that all he showed was why he can’t.

“He gave them the game. Took it from us, gave it to them.”


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“We aren’t playing the way we should be playing, no doubt about that,” Trudel said. “But at the end there, we had the game under control, we were going to win it. Then it got taken from us.

“I had eight guys left on the bench to kill all those penalties with. At some point, it’s just not reasonable to expect more from us.”


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